Migrations – Fleeing, Happy Immigrations

Jacques Bar Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 2006. Where and when do my wanderings begin ?, my odysseys. Far away and long ago, in 1914, in the city of Zolkiew (visit web) located 25 kilometers from Lwow, capital of the province they call Galicia, southern Poland. Region that is geographically, in fact, part of western Ukraine. Something of History and Geography With the included conurbano Zolkiew had 35,000 inhabitants composed by three ethnicities, the Polish, the Ukrainian and the Jewish. Among the latter there was a small part of the rich, a part of the lower middle class and the rest poor, with their indigent parts, but whom the religious and charitable authorities did not leave abandoned; I think the same rule, ruled in other ethnicities. After the defeat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, which ruled the life of this region in the First World War 1914-1918, the Treaty of Versailles awarded Poland the administration of this territory, which had previously had, having passed in successive hand-to-hand wars. In the year 966 of our era the Polish mandamas Mieszko I becomes and Poland happens to be Christianized. In 1333, King Kasimiesz the Great invited the Jews to settle in Poland to make it progress, guaranteeing them the free practice of their worship. In 1344 founded the University of Krakow, in which the future Pope Woijtila must have studied. Later, in the year 1410, the king Zolkiewsky, founds the city of Zolkiew, city that still retains its name. At the end of the 17th century, John III Sobiesky saved Poland with victory over the Turks (I know a poem about it). A few years later, he visited Zolkiew and built the largest and most beautiful synagogue, because of its architecture, of all the rest of the country; (his son lies in the Zolkiew mausoleum).

Video: Mein shtetele Belz

From the middle of 1941 when the Nazis invaded Poland and Galicia (breaking the non-aggression pact with Russia), until the end of 42 they murdered (as in all the towns of Poland with Jewish communities) the entire Jewish population of Zolkiew , 5,000 souls, (74 are the miraculously survivors); among the martyrs are our mother, our older sister and her 9-year-old daughter, and a large number of blood relatives. (The great synagogue remains that they could not destroy according to the survivors, having needed to bomb it from the air, such was – and is – the robustness of its foundations and its construction, no other version is available), (I remain as a historical monument). We return to years ago, six months before the end of the first world war, my father is demobilized from the Austrian armies, bringing a gift from the front: a disease, a class of epilepsy, which falls short, falls, trembles, throws foam by mouth having to give a metallic object in his hand until he calms down; this situation has lasted more than 15 years, received a small pension. He was a young and strong man, he died in the year 36 to the 53 years of an infection that could not be stopped, not having even been antibiotics. We were neither rich nor poor, we belonged to the lower middle class, we lived on the outskirts of the village on the banks of a stream that offered us, fishing in the summer and in the winters with frost, we slipped on our skates and covered their frozen surface kilometers and kilometers. We had a small garden that allowed us to eat our own vegetables, milk from our dairy cow and eggs from our chickens, amen of the fruits of each season. Our childhood and early happy adolescence, in memory, are nourished mainly by the almost permanent contact with nature, the spell of the summer dawns with the search in the (almost always successful) garden of the apple or the pear, fallen during the night, not far from the tree, taken from the grass moistened by the dew and its consequent savored, seemed to us to be part of Eden, our mother wanted us happy and succeeded, on Saturdays and Sundays, we went to cross the great and beautiful park, distant from us about 2 kilometers, cross some wheat fields and railroad tracks, so that after this aromatized walk to a pre-forest where we collected strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and some triangular nuts that I never found again other part or places I have explored, through the years of vacation; all this now seems to me paradise lost. The concern of our parents did not leave us insensitive but they were taking shape as we grew up, coexistence with the Poles and Ukrainians was an acceptable modus vivendi; we were far away, far from John XXIII, Paul VI with the 12th Vatican Council and Carol Wojtyla, we were the descendants of those murderers. We became aware of our vulnerability; from time to time some Orthodox Jews recognizable by their clothes were vexed, sometimes with injuries, by hooligans, we did not know of any police reaction on the matter or that these hooligan bands have ever been disturbed. I was impressed with a touching fact of the wonderful fidelity of a dog and his keen sense of smell that justifies the love that the great majority feels for his dog. One evening, our father came home and about 500 meters away was attacked by hooligans and our dog Aza felt it at this distance and with an arrow run freed our father. In primary school our teacher Mazurkuwna, a bitter spinster, made us occupy separate benches of the Christian boys, and not a day went by without us reproaching our deicide. It’s a good thing we were to go out into the courtyard during the hour of religion. In sports and cultural clubs we debated our problem and its possible solution: Palestine or Communism? The bourgeois side was fighting for Palestine, the left for communism. The Zionists argued that in the long run with immigration and rural labor and the healing of the marshes (lands left to the grace of God for centuries), we will create a place for us and we will bring progress for the Arabs, where the efendis they lead the baton and the lavish life, but where the great majority lives in poor conditions, they could not be that they despise the progress that we are going to bring them. The left thought it fantasies: 2000 years that the Palestinians live on their land, they will not tolerate us; while if the Russian experience with communism succeeds, all the problems that crush us will disappear. A society without classes, without exploited or exploited, without religious problems, without differences between Jews and Christians, all the same. Theoretically at the beginning the theme is: each one according to his merits to go to the next stage which will be “each according to his possibilities and each according to his needs”, they told us, and it was true that Lenin decreed to consider anti-Semitism as a crime that can be paid even with death. I was seduced by this utopia, I wanted to contribute my bit of sand; during the presidential elections that have consecrated Pilsudsky President (who turned out to be not persecutor of Jews, but with a touch of protection). They grabbed me with their hands in the mass distributing leaflets of the left. After the police “caresses” I do not know how I came out, they put me in jail for 9 months – minor penalty for a minor – (I could never forgive this unconscious teenager for the bad blood that this “heroism” of mine gave to my parents, brothers and sisters, and especially how our sacrificed older sister (Genia) got in. When I left, I was 17. In some ways this freedom was worse than prison: I could not walk with a friend without the police stopping him I was a “dangerous revolutionary” and had to be closely monitored because if not I would put Poland legs up! That was two years between jobs and several high school breaks until I could ” leaving Egypt “but not to go to the desert but to Paris where my two brothers who have juggled to get me out of this well (first emigration” escape “and a happy immigration). ego to Paris, when I am 19 years old, where my two brothers are waiting for me; to have existed a thermometer to measure emotion and happiness was bursting into pieces, but my parents and sisters, whom I left behind, remained attached to the soul, deluding me with my brothers, bringing them all to France, but illusions and hopes are the last thing misses. I accepted the magic reality: I was in Paris, France of the revolution, the declaration of the right of man and citizen. France by Víctor Hugo, Voltaire, Diderot, Balzac, Zola, with his J’Accuse, by Romain Rolland and Anatole France; France of freedom. In the subway the pages of “l’Humanité and L’Fígaro” (as in Poland!) Are unfold, well open. Paris light, Paris Lumière, not the light of the lanterns, the light of the spirit, beacon of cultures without borders. On the other side of the coin, in the same year 1933, Hitler arrives at the power of Germany; the political atmosphere is becoming thinner, the news coming from there do not disturb everyone alike, there is for all tastes in the bazaar. The big suspense begins: what do we have to deal with this character? Meanwhile, life goes on. Paris marvels at those who do not know it yet, with the Eiffel Tower, the Trocadero, the Arc de Triomphe, from which 12 boulevards are opened, the Champs Elysees and the Place de la Concorde with its trophy obelisk brought from Egypt by Napoleon. Les Tuileries, Le Palais Royal, the grand boulevards, theaters, museums, the Louvre, the largest museum in the world; the banks of the Seine, the church of Notre Dame on the island of la Cité immortalized by Victor Hugo, the great Opera, the left bank of the Seine, Saint-Michel, MontParnasse, the cafes of poets, writers, intellectuals all genres for bohemia, the Sacré Coeur mounted on a hill in the highest part of Paris, the old Montmarte, Pigale for the show, and a thousand reasons for exaltation that Paris offers its visitors, love of its permanent inhabitants, of which not everyone is delighted with these treasures. In the political order, the skies of all Europe are covered with dark clouds. In the year 35 the Nazis dictate racial laws in Nuremberg reducing several hundred thousand German Jews to ghosts, “forbidden”, “forbidden”, “forbidden medicine”, “forbidden law”, “forbidden university” , neither teachers nor students, scientific institutes prohibited, medical care in establishments prohibited, prohibited, prohibited. In Dachau, on the outskirts of Munich, they create the first concentration camp, which does not provide enough; they open a few more in German territory: Saksenhausen, Ravensbruk for women and others. All Jews are subject to being locked up in a concentration camp, stripping them of their shops, their houses, their money in the bank if they had them, thus begins the execution of the monstrous plan: murder of innocent men, women and children and defenseless, in the most sinister enterprise that humanity, dehumanized and debased, has ever conceived. There is a lot of colored water under the bridges. In Spain, in the year 36, the Popular Front wins the elections, forms government, but does not seem to be to the liking of the right. Franco disembarks in Spain coming from the Spanish Marruecos with a large military force and declares that he is determined to kill 1,000,000 Spaniards so that the Communists would not rule Spain. In reality it was not Communists but Socialists, which is very different. In France and other countries of the European center are formed international brigades, volunteers to help Spain to resist. Diplomatically, England, France and Germany sign a non-intervention in this civil war, but Germany continues to supply armaments to Franco; bombing Guernica, (the capital Basque) while England threatens France with cutting the “Bonne Entente”, if they send aid to republicans. And France puts her tail between her legs. Leon Blum, French Socialist Prime Minister, does not know how to handle this problem, and stops a shipment of arms for Republicans, who need them since Germany does not comply. Blum cornered by the French left, is booed by 50,000 socialists in the winter velodrome stadium, ends up resigning. In Spain the Spanish phalange kills right and left, the Republicans fight tooth and nail and end up defeated, after almost 3 years of fighting, in March 1939. Spain cries 1,000,000 dead, Franco “has fulfilled what was promised” . In a year before culminating this fratricidal war, with this unequivocal predictable outcome, he is proclaimed “caudillo” more absolute command of Spain. In this year 38, Hitler, emboldened by this “good march” of the Spanish war begins to howl, shout, bark, “Sudetes, Sudetes, Sudetes” and obtains that Daladier of France, and Chamberlain of England travel to Berstesgaden to give him the Sudetes. Czechoslovakia shouts its pain, France and England have guaranteed the integrity of their meager territory in the treaty of “Versailles”, they are told that it is to guarantee peace, (peace of cemeteries!). In France, at this time, the work of the fifth column (destabilizing) is beginning to be felt, causing the Nazi-Nazi virus to penetrate a large part of the social body of the French (the effects will be felt at the peak moments of the battle military, that will end the surrender, after scarce 15 days of struggle, for which the country was prepared ideologically, fit for consumption). Walking the time in late October of 39, the world has breakfast with a bomb: Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia, the deadliest maximum enemies, signed a Non-aggression pact. The Germans want to be quiet on their Eastern front in order to “crush” the two Western enemies, then “fix” the final account with the Bolsheviks. When Ribentrop signs the Moscow agreement with Molotov, he makes Chamberlain’s words heard on the tape recorder during the delivery of the Sudetes to Hitler: “England understands that Germany needs living space: the lands of Ukraine are the most fertile in Eastern Europe. England and France want you and us to bleed, so they can arbitrate the situation. ” The Russians on their side say “the French and the English”: you allowed Germany to annex to Austria, to strangle Czechoslovakia and helped Hitler to mount his military power to destroy us, now enjoy it “good fortune!”. It should be remembered that for several years, before the war, the government of the Polish colonels, the two commanders Beck and Ritz Szmigli, never tired of repeating that in case of war Poland will not let Russian troops pass through its territory, which has the sinister significance that they would serve as a wall of protection for Germany. (Geographically, in a counter offensive, Russia must pass obligatorily by the territory of Poland). One day before attacking Poland, Hitler barks: “if the Jews provoke the war that they will follow the consequences”. Indeed, the international Jewish command with 200 heavy bombers, 150 fighter planes, 500 guns, plus countless other war supplies, all stored in the “basements and back rooms” of haberdashery and kosher warehouses, are prepared for the assault on Germany to cut Hitler’s mustache and shave his head! but Hitler wins them by hand and on September 1, 1939 attacks Poland, bombs Warsaw and begins to pay Polish Jews “for having provoked war” !. After this attack France and England declare war on Germany but for almost a year they do not make any terrestrial, aerial, or maritime scratches and allow them time to digest their morsel. In March 1940, England was redeemed, and the first Lord of the Admiralty, Sir Winston Churchill, was appointed prime minister. He was going to impress upon the march of war his personal seal, his strong character, and his ingenuity which, without neglecting the merits of many more pesos heavy, will end up putting Hitler on his knees; if I live, and millions like me (Jews and non-Jews), we owe it above all to Winston Churchi11. The expected German offensive expected to take place in May 41. The French General Staff awaits them standing firm on the ligne Maginot (on the eastern front), a sophisticated defensive complex that has cost engineering and billions of francs, but, to the Germans are not interested; invade Holland and Belgium and come from the north. France makes a “mock” defense that lasts 15 days and surrenders, and it is Petain the French national hero who in the First World War defeated the Germans in the fiercest and bloody battle of Verdun, forcing them to capitulate; it is this same Marshal Petain who signs unconditional surrender by becoming a collaborator of Hitler’s Germany. France is cut in two: from Geneva to Tours, keeping the South part free of occupation; they set up their government in Vichy (free side). They proclaim themselves collaborators of Germany, desiring the victory of this, in their gigantic undertaking of domination from the Atlantic to the Urals. Laval, Prime Minister: “by National Radio: France desires the victory of Germany” (will be shot after liberation). Doriot, one of the hierarchs of the French Communist Party, makes a 180-degree turn and becomes head of a band of brown shirts almost equivalent to GESTAPO; the finishing touch of the fruitful work of the fifth column: they only had to fly the swastika. In honor of the truth, it can not be overlooked that the Nazi poison did not cover the entire French population, much less the resistance or the “Maqui”, of activist groups scattered throughout the territory, of a strong tribute of blood, in the execution of missions of sabotage (in front line the railroad martyrs), have made them pay their betrayal, to the gang, Petain, Laval, Doriot and consorte, during the occupation and after the liberation , claiming the France of the Revolution, France from the declaration of the right of man and citizen. I reproduce the note that appeared in “Nice Matin” on June 2, 1999. Disappearance of M. Charles Moré, “Capitaine Charly”, in the resistance in Nice. With great sadness we have been informed of the death in Nice at the age of 77 of Mr. Charles Moré who was “Capitaine Charly”, in the Resistance in Nice. Entered very young in the underground, Mr. Charles Moré is noted for his courage. Head of the “Eclair” group of “Francs” groups of resistance, he has participated in numerous operations, particularly dangerous, such as: the release of “resistant” trapped by the occupants and held at the Pasteur hospital. On August 12, 1944, on a “mission” he was seriously injured. The military medal with “citation” and “Croix de Guerre” (Cross of War) with palm, rewarded his courage. After the war, Mr. Moré settled in Alphonse Karr Street. “Nice Matin” introduces his widow Madame Agnès and her son Gérard Moré, the former director of the Isola 2000 ski resort, to his most sincere condolences. Charles Moré was my brother-in-law, my wife’s brother. To me the capitulation finds me mobilized in a Polish unit in Quetquedam, a locality of Brittany, from where we disband to the four winds. I look for my sack and my pants, my shoes had all gone to dress to not know who. I grab what I can: a pair of broken shoes, which I carry with me and, with a friend, we put ourselves in a forest where we spent the night. At dawn I choose to wear broken shoes to leave the military shoes in the woods; to mislead me as a soldier. We walked to find a cottage where they accept us and at dawn we accompany the owner to help him in his tasks; I get water in my broken shoes. The miserable feeling is so extreme that I think and I say: “If they have to grab me, then they grab me, but I misery cold water in my shoes I do not want it anymore”. Such episodes I had lived in theaters, but starring oneself, is not the same. At dawn we headed towards the forest with very remote chances of success, without a possible signal to start looking for, I let myself be carried by the hunch and the unfathomable and I find my shoes! I could not believe it, it looked like a fairy tale. For coins we bought two bikes “from the time of Napoleon” without lights or brakes. We brake with our feet, for miles and miles; most of the way with bikes on the shoulder, most of the time we spent the night “à la belle étoile”. It was not recorded in my memory how we survived 5 weeks 300 km. We filled our backpacks with apples and carrots stolen from the fields, but the kindness and solidarity of the locals, with many nights in the chicken coops, slowly approached the goal that was Paris, avoiding the routes traveled by the German motorcycles. On the way I lost my friend on the road, Armand, who survived. We met after the war. 50 km from Paris, one evening, at dusk, I arrive at a town crowded with Germans, with all sorts of supplies, and I tell myself that “from here I do not go out”; I am dressed in civilian clothes, if you can call it a dress, with the military shoes I had rescued. I lean against a wall next to a man with the appearance of building manager, I ask: “How do I get to Paris”? And “How do I pass the access to the capital? They are all controlled. “The man looks at my shoes and says” Do you see this truck? At dawn it goes to Paris with bags of potatoes, carrots, etc., goes to the supply market, gets among the bags and waits at dawn, chances are he will not check his cargo “; I do not think much and I put the bike and me too. At 5 o’clock in the morning the vehicle starts up until we reach the Porte D`Orléans, a German soldier with a rifle on his shoulder, stops him, as everyone, “papers, papers” the driver gives him his documents and I look through a slit through the planks, with the heart hanging from a thread, the German takes a look and returns his documents giving him a pass. Who is capable of imagining me at this moment, it is as if they had rescued me from the scaffold. We arrived at the Parvis de Notre Dame, I shook my head, emerged from the bags and the man almost fainted: “Do you realize the risk you’ve made me run?” “Yes, I realize. In a shipwreck, the wreckage grabs the branch of a tree, and he says “and with the bicycle! “Yes, more than this: please give me your data that I want to thank you more than words,” he says “It is not necessary, now that I have passed I am happy to have contributed something, even if it is involuntary, against these pigs. ” In Paris I meet my wife – about a year after we had been married and four months apart, and with my sister and her husband. In this first phase the German soldiers behave almost as tourists in Paris: they do not disturb, but I know that is very provisional, at any time the first blow, and it was. All Jews must go where appropriate to register and seal their food card without which food can not be obtained. Two months later, every Jew should go wherever he can seal his identity card (with a seal that says “Juif”), we begin to feel like a cat before a Maula. The Nazis act while preparing the attack to Russia that will do 22 of the 6 of 1941. The next blow took less than the first. In May of the 41 one afternoon I come to the café Faubourg Poissonières where there were always “paisanos” carriers of the last news; I found them all with their head down, they had all received notifications in their houses, which had to be presented the next morning at 8 am with a blanket and a relative. I begin to make my inquiries to see if it is a batch of surnames, letters, or for example by Barrios; the summons appear to be total, to all those who had already updated their homes, all without exception except children and the elderly. There I meet a friend, whom I have been two years, Henri and I say: “do not go home so you do not know the citation, twice they will not get you in the field is a pre-deportation grouping” I say : “Go to your mother-in-law’s house (they were newlyweds) and let a little sister (she had several) go tell Tania (his wife) that you will not come, and spend the night there, at your mother-in-law’s house.” He was a very sweet boy with blue eyes but half phlegmatic and says “I’m going home; with Tania, we plan to go to the movies “. They went to the cinema and the next morning Tania accompanies him, as they indicated in the summons. All went to different places to work in the field, with police custody; before gathering them in camps they established, some escaped without a document, some were picked up, and others survived, but Henri did not listen to my advice and did not attempt to escape. He ended up being deported to Germany, perishing like hundreds of thousands in gas chambers, gallows for “example” shootings, bonfires. Of the strongest of physical constitution assigned to hard labor and hunger, only 1% of the 6,000,000 martyred Jews, men, women and children survived in frightful orgies of annihilation. And what did I do? My wife was recovering from an illness on the outskirts of Paris; I went to spend the night with some friends, newlyweds, Ida and Rovan. In the morning we went with my friend Rovan on the subway near my house; I sat in the cafe to wait for him instructing him to insist on the doorbell until the neighbor comes out and there we would find out what had happened. So she did, the neighbor came out and said that since they did not find who to leave the citation they returned at 5 o’clock in the morning, knocking until they got tired; the neighbor came out and told them that she did not see me or my wife, Rovan comes back and tells me that I had a terrible smell. From there I moved as I could, with the impression of walking on minefield. In my imagination all the cops were looking for me; he could not take a step out of the hiding place every night, walking with the feeling of being edging the precipice. The 32 km that separated me from my lady, I made them in collective and on foot the last stretch of 7 km. I finally got to meet my wife. Then he had to go back to Paris, to the house, to pack his suitcases, and to travel south and to pass with a lady who knew the demarcation line of France occupied and free. Not without flats we arrived in Nice. In the summer of 41 – as we are in Nice – other experiences await us. Naturally they do not have the characters of anguish passed with the Nazi uniforms. With some ingenuity and luck, we got four boat tickets, “Cabo de Hornos” that departed mid-December from the Spanish port of Vigo, with our meager savings, the help of my brothers from where they were and the “Joint” in Marseilles. For all the paperwork, Nice had no consulates. It had to be done in Marseilles. Although the biggest problem should have been Paraguay and Argentina, the Spanish traffic presented the biggest obstacle. Germany requires Spain not to grant a transit visa to men under 30 years of age – because they generally use this route to go to England to join the French brigades that will eventually disembark in France. I was born in 1914, I was only 28 years old. One morning, I get angry, I go to the police and ask to speak with the official responsible for the documentation area. With some preliminaries, I tell him that I am going to report my loss of document and ask him, when he makes the copy, that he is wrong with a digit. Instead of putting 1914 as the year of my birth, let me put it in 1911. After an unexpected talk, and with an unexpected attitude, he says, “Come back tomorrow.” I return the next day, and am aged 3 years. I had warned him that I had no chance of paying him anything, to which he replied that if I had come with money propositions I would not do it. Naturally, this made it possible for me to have the Spanish transit. Before this episode, having neglected my expiration date (“séjour”), I put my hand in the military notebook of my brother-in-law, who did not carry a photo, (he could not avoid going to Marseilles for paperwork). I knew all about the history of my brother-in-law, the whole process of order of military obligation. I’m going to Marseilles. I can not find accommodation in any hotel. I have to go back to where I always stayed with the name of Bar and I’m suddenly going to call Moré. I’m at the hotel, at 7 o’clock in the morning, two gentlemen want to see me. They, without rush. I shower, shave, dress and go under. Accompany tell me (as if there had been another possibility!). It’s 8 o’clock. in the morning, summer day, the cafes already open, with the belly of the counter almost to the street, I invite you to have a coffee, they accept. I think, if they take me by false document, I ask to go to the bathroom and from there to run and if I run and throw welcome, compared to what I would expect would be a bargain. But, installed on the high chairs, I tell them: “what macana must I have done for the police to find me” and one tells me “the Parisians always bring us something so you are a deserter?”, Listening to my neurons get to dance. So no false identity: Moré is deserter, nothing happens, I trust in being able to handle it. They take me to the police, they photograph me standing, front, profile, weigh me, measure me, take the fingerprints of all the fingers, both hands and wait. At 14 o’clock, I hear them say on the phone “now we bring it”, I get in the Citroën, we go down before a tall, old, and armored building. They take me through high doors weighing 10 tons each. In an office, sitting at a desk, a high-ranking military character: “here is the man,” they tell me. The General: “Come closer,” he looks at me and says, “Good afternoon” and then, “Are you Jewish?”, “Not that I know, my general.” “Sit down,” he says to them, “Thank you, you can go, leave me,” and he says: “My young man, if I want to know if he’s Jewish, I’ll have him lower his pants. Get up, walk to the door and come back. ” I obey and try to have a slight reneng in my walk, on the way I sit. The general: “Are you afraid to tell me that you are a Jew?” And read the military notebook: Meilach I lived his father, Regina Lewcowich his mother. “Tell me why he did not appear to the review when they called him,” I say “forgive me my general, I did not take it seriously, the military authorities have my file. At the age of 13 I was operated on the hip for osteomyelitis, I am not fit for military service. The Military Commander of the Place de Marseille tells me: “Do not be afraid, France has lost a battle but France has not lost the war.” “France will always be France, have confidence. Viva France. Go back to Nice. ” He shakes my hand, I thank him. When I go out I continue to do the small rengee and I think that maybe it was a farce and that before reaching the street I will be grabbed by the neck and goodbye. No, none of that (after the war, after liberation I looked for a way to find this angel but it was unsuccessful). In Nice, one morning, we had breakfast with the novelty that all foreigners’ exit visas were canceled. Immediately I search the map for a border with Spain, and I meet Ax les Thermes, and with my wife and a couple we travel by train to that place; we got contact with pins. On 9th November I call the Canfrant border to find out (before we get going) if you can cross the border, and say that with the exit visa and the Spanish transit there is no problem (the previous day, 8 November, the Americans landed in North Africa (my older brother was in that expeditionary body), which I had predicted in the conversation with the Visa official when I asked him to change his date of birth, I already assumed that the German answer would be the occupation of the other half of France.In the early morning of the 10th Germans invade the other half of France.We two (with my traveling companion), we are going to climb 2500 mts of Pyrenees at 10 o’clock the night of the 9th, the hike, the climb with its enormous cliffs are not without panic or picturesque The next day, at 7 pm we arrive The doorknobs put us in a cafe, we are told that at dawn they they are going to drive a bus We take the people to the train and they will take us. We give them half of the paper they have to deliver on the return, to collect the other half of the agreed. When they leave, the coffee lady tells us that we are not in Spain but in Andorra, an independent principality between Spain and France and, she tells us, that if the police take us, they will take us back to France. We are again in the middle of the water, we must spend the night yes or no without fishing. Somehow we landed in a smoke-free café and smugglers whose owner is Spanish, who had had a coffee in France and who speaks good French. It presents us a republican Spanish saved from the Francoist massacre with whom we share the night on beds of straw. The next day, at dawn, we do all we have left to do: we go to the border “Seo de Urgel”, with the shipments paid, with transits in order, but we explain that the exit visas were invalidated so we had to find another way to enter Spain and they asked us: “And who drove them?” We reply: “we came alone”; they make us wait for an hour and a half, at the end Madrid gives the Ok, we are sealed passports, Entry! Hallelujah!. “Seo de Urgel”, seems out of a story: it is not the same as we left behind. Full of all that one wants to feed, we greet an autumn sun, brother of a spring sun; we headed to the station, bought tickets to Barcelona. In Barcelona getting off the train with our air of lost souls, we are approached by an angel dressed as a woman of about 50 years who tells us that it is good for us to go to Leo Leo Hotel, to take care of us there. We take a taxi and go to the hotel indicated; they welcome us as if they had expected us, lodging, food and some recipes for small needs. Dr. Sequeira, a doctor from Lisbon, is in charge of helping people like us with the money sent by the New York Joint (an American organization made up of people who want to help Jews escape from Nazi hell). We moved around for several days to find out what had happened to our women who were not in the right place until we learned from the side of the French consulate that they were being held in a camp in Mérignac in the hands of the French collaborators with Germany. We had no choice, with my friend, to embark alone. (At that time, a decisive battle between Germany and Russia, with many victims, was taking place in Stalingrad, south of Russia, with the happy result of the defeat of Germany.) Marshal Von Paulus, with 15 generals and with his troops decimated, surrendered marking the beginning of the end of the Nazi monsters. In Buenos Aires, my brother Rafael was waiting two years older than me, from there to Paraguay by boat, then back to Buenos Aires culminating the emigration (flight) with the happy immigration and again flight with happy immigration, viva Argentina! Thus, in Buenos Aires, Argentina, my “amusing” trotamundismo ends; with all the inextinguishable pain for so much suffering, of my mother, of my sister with her baby and the misfortune that she has had to suffer at the hands of the insane Nazi assassins. So many millions of human beings who have not been touched, like me, the miracle to survive. But life goes on. Two children, two treasures, a daughter and a man, five wonderful grandchildren, a beloved daughter and a son, complete the picture of a man made in this blessed land of Argentina. On the other side the women: the field of Mériñac Simone, the wife of my friend Sammy, a traveling companion, had traveled to Tarbe, not far from the Spanish border, to bid farewell to a cousin, while my wife Ida, my friend Sami, a friend of these friends and I traveled to Ax les Thermes. The plan was that on November 10 at the time they had agreed, Simone would wait for Ida and Renee at the station to continue their journey with them to the border. But the devil stuck his tail; Simone waited at the station and instead of being ready to continue with them, she invited them to lunch at her cousin’s house and then they would take the next train to continue to the border. For this train with which they did not follow was the last that remained calm until the border. The next, the one they took, was already tracked by the Germans – it was the day of their invasion into free France -. They were controlled and taken to the Mérignac concentration camp. Ironies of Fate: Renée just wanted to walk, escorting her friends to the border; fell in the same raid. My insulin-dependent diabetic woman went to the hospital because of lack of insulin. Thousands of diabetics diabetes cost their lives, my wife diabetes saved her life. After months of hospital he was able to escape with the help of a nun and a young couple (see in library); was able to survive until liberation and in the first French ship that sailed after the war for Latin America – Le Groix – came to Argentina. I took the plane to Rio and then embarked with it to Buenos Aires. Simone and Renée were deported together with great transport of victims in Mérignac from where they did not return, to the glory of the super German men and French collaborators. Jacques Bar Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 2006.

Jacques Bar